10 May 2023

Sea Swift price increase won't impact us: CEQ

| Samuel Davis
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Sea Swift’s new vessel Newcastle Bay II is expected to be operating early next year.

A MAJOR increase in cargo costs is expected to inflate the price of most goods and services in Cape York – but groceries at some stores won’t be affected.

Sea Swift’s shipping costs will go up by 14.5 per cent this Thursday but a fixed agreement with Community Enterprise Queensland means their rate will stay the same.

However, CEO Michael Dykes said the company was still mindful of the impact price rises would have on its customers in places like Napranum, the NPA and Torres Strait.

“We haven’t heard from Sea Swift and we wouldn’t expect to,” Mr Dykes said.

“We’re pretty fortunate. A long-term contract was secured some time ago so our (cargo) rates aren’t impacted.

“But it’s those other businesses and community members we feel for.

“Our board is very supportive about holding prices where we can, even though it affects our income, particularly on healthy choices like fresh produce.”

Surging fuel, labour and commodity prices are still placing huge pressure on retailers.

“Where the manufacturer passes on increases, that still affects us,” Mr Dykes said.

“You only have to look at Coles and Woolworths to see how much prices have fluctuated recently.

“For us, the question is, ‘How do we have a strategy in place to offset those rises?’

“Even things like tin are increasing in price and that impacts so much of what we stock on our shelves.”

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